Scientists find a way to block breast cancer spread

09 February, 2018, 03:45 | Author: Wilson Dawson
  • Scientists find a way to block breast cancer spread

Some recent research suggested that foods which contain high levels of asparagine, an amino acid, may be associated with the spread of breast cancer, as USA Today reported.

Researchers examined data from breast cancer patients, which showed the greater the ability of breast cancer cells to make asparagine, the more likely the disease was to spread.

The researchers says that most women with breast cancer do not succumb to their original tumour, but instead to metastases or subsequent growths away from the primary site.

The researchers believe that asparagine is used by cancers to spread around the body after the initial growth of a tumour.

A team of worldwide cancer researchers have shown in mice that limiting the consumption of the amino acid asparagine stopped the spread of triple-negative breast cancer.

"The next step in the research would be to understand how this translates from the lab to patients and which patients are most likely to benefit from any potential treatment", Professor Charles Swanton, Cancer Research UK's chief clinician, said in a statement. Asparagine has also been linked to reduced survival rates in patients suffering from leukemia. Most fruits and vegetables are low in asparagine. Foods rich in asparagine include dairy, whey, beef, poultry, eggs, fish, seafood, asparagus, potatoes, legumes, nuts, seeds, soy and whole grains.


A new study has found that a chemical in our food could affect the speed at which several different cancers grow and spread.

"Our work has pinpointed one of the key mechanisms that promotes the ability of breast cancer cells to spread".

Experts in the field including Baroness Delyth Morgan, the chief executive at Breast Cancer Now have added that this study is still preliminary and should not prompt breast cancer patients to go on drastic diets without medical advice.

But fear not asparagus lovers, these findings still need to be confirmed in people and asparagine is hard to avoid in the diet anyway.

"We'd also encourage all patients to follow a healthy and varied diet... to help give them the best chance of survival".

If further research replicates this finding in humans, reducing cancer patients' consumption of asparagine could enhance existing therapies, Knott added.

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